O-Chul's Razor
Order of the Stick comic
Comic no. 546
Date published 6 April 2008
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Redcloak continues his interrogation of O-Chul, and the two disagree over the simplest explanation.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1

O-Chul: NO! Wait!
Redcloak: You're going to have to come up with a better story than "riddles". Girard was capable of some of the most powerful illusions ever devised.
Redcloak: I want to know details: types of illusions and how we can defeat them.

Panel 2

O-Chul: I have told you many times. I do not know. Soon swore an oath not to—
Redcloak: Yes, yes, this is where you discuss Soon and his oath to not interfere in the defense of the other Gates.
Redcloak: A lovely tale.

Panel 3

Flashback to O-Chul being telepathically interrogated by a psion while Redcloak and Jirix look on.
Redcloak (inset): And in all our time together, every Mind Probe, every Zone of Truth, every divination of any sort corroborates that you are telling the truth.
Psion: Nope, nothing.
Redcloak: Damn it! Do you know how long it took me to even figure out if we were USING psionics in this worlds??
Jirix: That leaves us a bushel of fortune cookies, an 18th-level Incarnum user, and a magic 8-ball that we haven't tried.
Redcloak: *sigh*
Redcloak: OK, bring up the cookies and keep the 8-ball on standby.

Panel 4

Redcloak: But which is more believable: that a powerful order of paladins—directly empowered by your gods to defend the very fabric of the universe—would deliberately ignore the status of 4 out of 5 locations that could threaten it?
Redcloak: Or that you simply have some obscure feat or class ability capable of fooling divination magic?

Panel 5

Redcloak: The latter requires only a single sourcebook that I haven't read...
Redcloak: ...while the former implies that generations of human paladins have willfully sabotaged their own ability to perform their duties for a silly promise.
Redcloak: Do you honestly expect me to believe such a ridiculous story?!?

Panel 6

Hobgoblin: Supreme Leader, I have that lampshade you requested.
Redcloak: Just hang it anywhere.

Panel 7

Redcloak: Where was I? Oh, right.
Redcloak: I find it FAR more probable that you are somehow resisting my magic. This "Soon's Oath" story is just that—a cover story designed by your leaders.
Redcloak: The information is there, somewhere. I just need to find a way to push past your conscious mind to access it.

Panel 8

Redcloak: And since magic cannot break you, I've been forced to rely on the more traditional torture methods.
Redcloak: Which I honestly haven't expected to be too productive, what with a paladin's immunity to fear.
Redcloak: Unfortunately, I wrote it on my schedule in ink, so here we are. You're Lawful, I'm sure you understand.

Panel 9

O-Chul: Wait. You are insisting that I am holding out on you, based solely on what you consider the most likely scenario?
Redcloak: Naturally. Logic dictates that the simplest solution is the most probable.

Panel 10

O-Chul: And you find the idea that I have some sort of secret knowledge implanted in my brain by the elders of the Sapphire Guard that has been so deeply suppressed that no magical effect can unearth it to be SIMPLER...
O-Chul: ...than the idea that I just don't know anything?

Panel 11

Redcloak: ...

Panel 12


Panel 13

Redcloak: I like the way I phrased it better.
O-Chul: No doubt.

D&D Context Edit

  • Psionics are a class of mental powers in D&D. They were introduced for D&D 3.5 Edition in the 2004 Expanded Psionics Handbook. Since they are included in a rule supplement and not the core rulebooks (Players Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide) they are optional rules that may or may not be incorporated by a DM. Psionics were first introduced for AD&D (1st edition) in the 1976 Eldritch Wizardry supplement.
  • Mind Probe is a 5th level psion power of the telepathy discipline which allows the psion to probe a subject's mind for the answers to questions, even if they are unwilling.
  • The psion appears to be a Blue, a blue-skinned race of goblins with an innate knack for psionics.
  • Incarnum is a type of magic introduced in D&D 3.5 Edition in the 2005 supplement Magic of Incarnum. Incarnum is used to create magic-infused items which affect parts of the body.

Trivia Edit

  • Lampshade Hanging occurs when writers call attention to implausibilities in their stories, or to their usage of common literary tropes. In this comic, Rich hangs a lampshade over the implausibility or his story, and actually also hangs a lampshade over his own lampshade hanging (using a literal lampshade).
  • The title is a reference to Occam's Razor, the principle that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.

External Links Edit

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